Whitmarsh “relaxed” despite coming under fire

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Martin Whitmarsh has stated that he is “relaxed” despite coming under fire following McLaren’s poor start to the 2013 Formula One season.

McLaren have scored just four points so far this season as drivers Jenson Button and Sergio Perez struggle to get to grips with the new car, but Whitmarsh does not feel under any pressure as team principal.

“I’m relaxed about it,” said Whitmarsh in an interview. “I’m passionate about what I do and I don’t like it when it doesn’t go right but we’ve all got a job to do and I don’t ever shy away from facing up to stuff.”

Whitmarsh refused to blame McLaren’s poor start on an individual, instead saying that the team succeed and fail together.

“It’s always very easy; people were trying to get me to name names of who might be responsible and people who might not even be here to defend themselves, but that’s not my style. That’s not how I operate and I hope and believe ultimately in our drivers, engineers; we’ve got a lot of bright, motivated people here.

“If you try and make decisions or impose them saying ‘I’m in charge, this is how it’s going to be’, you’ll fail.”

Many critics have called for Whitmarsh to be replaced by former McLaren chief Ron Dennis, but the incumbent team principal has confidence in his own ability.

“I hope and believe that I’ve got a reasonable amount of persuasive influence on most of the people in the organisation because they respect – I hope they do, not always I’m sure – generally respect that I play it straight, I tell them what I think.”

McLaren’s poor start is difficult to attribute to any factor besides their car. The development route taken by the team has sacrificed their early season form, but if they can continue the upward trend on display in Malaysia, they could be in a position to win races towards the end of the season.

Lewis Hamilton enjoys epic trip to NASA’s Johnson Space Center (VIDEO)

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Lewis Hamilton went to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston earlier this week, a thrill for the driver of a land-speed rocket for Mercedes AMG Petronas to then see actual ones.

In today’s pre-race coverage for the United States Grand Prix, NBCSN takes you behind the scenes of the trip in Houston. You can see that video, above.